Thursday, April 14, 2016

#theAnswer...

A few nights ago, I was asked an important question, and in response to the question, this answer was formulated... and today, i'd like to share it with you...

(The Question)
Ok, I'll start by saying this, it is appointed unto man, once, to die, and the comes, the judgement...
(Hebrews 9;27)

So, if you're not dead yet, you have not been judged; therefore, you still have a chance at life... 

The Word also tells us that there is only one sin that shall be unforgivable, and that's blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and seeing that you have to this day, not dropped dead, I'd say that there's nothing you have said or done, that the Lord shall not forgive... (Mark 3:29)

Now, I'd like to share something else with you, I have not always been this "Fred"  that you see, I was not always loving on everybody, nor was I even all that friendly, I was that guy that ruined everyone's good time, some of my homies would tell me, "I've never had enemies until I met you, and now everyone hates me"... 

I was a street thug and a hoodlum, in the early 90's, my friends and I started a gang that is still around today, and to be honest, I was  just an all around bad guy... But one day, a friend of mine began asking me to go to church with him, he was relentless... he just would not give up, and eventually, I gave into  his endless request, and I went to church with him, not because I wanted to, but because he would not stop bothering me about it, and so I went... 13 years ago, and that was the beginning of the best part of my life... One visit led to another, and another... I'd go once a month, then twice a month, and after a while, I was all in... It didn't start that way, but what had happened as time passed, is that I had begun to truly trust God, and I had begun to have a relationship with Jesus Christ... 

As time passed, I had learned to love the presence of God, and I had even begun to entertain and commune with the presence of the Holy Spirit, and it was then that my real life began to change for the better... No longer was I just breathing to death, but I was truly living the "Life more Abundant" that Jesus described in John chapter ten... So don't feel as though you have done too much, said too much, or strayed too far from God, because He has built us a bridge to connect our sin-riddled lives, with His Perfect and Righteous Spirit, and this bridge is crafted from two wooden logs... It was first tied together with a few pieces of thorny vines, before being nailed together with four nails, and sealed from corruption with the Blood of the Lamb, Jesus Christ... 

Now, I've said all of that, to say this... 
(The Answer)

God has already called you, otherwise, you would not being crying before you even finished asking me the question... You are already His child, and He is already your God, all you've got to do is finish the job... Come back to God, call on His Name, and you shall be saved... It's really simple... It tells us in the first part of the book of Acts that if we will repent, which simply means to turn away from... Or in this case, turn toward God and leave the sin behind, and if we will be Baptized in accordance to the Word of God, in the Name of Jesus, we shall be redeemed, we shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit... It's really simple... So no, it's not too late, and yes, He will forgive you... God Bless, and I am praying for you right now... (Acts 2:38)

...Please forgive any errors in punctuation or proper English as this is the reply to the question asked of me on the FaceBook messenger service...

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Friday, March 25, 2016

Barabbas

What is going? Are you serious? How can this be? You are letting me go? Is this some kind of mistake? I'd better run swiftly, before they realize what they've done... But wait just a second, in my haste to remove myself from this dark, damp, dingy, cell, I looked in His eyes, and I promise you, I could see forever... 
(Crowd chooses Barabbas)

At the time, I did not know His name, I had only been told that it was my lucky day, and to go before the masses changed there mind... Asking again, I said, "are you sure they said Barabbas?" And to that the Roman guard replied, "leave now, run, or I'll kill you myself," and so I ran, I ran passing by the cell of the man who would take my place, the man called Jesus of Nazareth. Walking hurriedly into the crowd, ducking low and covering my head with the gown and filthy rags the guards had given me, I began to ask, those I'd bumped into, what was happening all around, what was all the cheering, shouting, and loud rumbling about... Only to hear enthusiastic shouts of awkward joy, and glee, stating that in just a little while, there's going to be a crucifixion of three criminals, one who had spoken ill of the Hebrew God, one who called Himself the Son of God, King of the Jews... Realizing that I'd just seen this man, and that I'd seen so much depth in His eyes, I decided to follow the crowds , and see who it was that had taken my place...

As time passed, you could begin to hear the cheering and the shouts of the crowd along the dusty streets, and it was then that I saw Him, battered, beaten, and bruised... The flesh of His back was literally torn to shreds... His arms pulsing, his knuckles, bloodied and bare, and His legs, bowed under the pressure of that cross, the cross that I knew was rightfully mine... And yet, He carried, and again, I saw His eyes, and in them... I could the pain and the anguish; yet, somehow it was different, I could not quite understand it, but I knew something was different here... As they passed and continued up the hill, I saw a man appear out of the crowd, a man I would later find out was from Cyrene, and he helped bare the weight of that cumbersome and heavy cross, and as they walked up the hill, I followed...

Who is this man, who is this Jesus? I asked throughout the crowded and tangled mass of men, women, and children as we all stumbled up the pavers and bricks... There were those who replied with vulgar language and shouts of hate, but these were not the answers I seemed, I knew there had to be more, for what normal man would bare the cross and punishment of another? Rumors swirled around, many states that in His hasty trial, He said very few words, and did not even defend Himself? What kind of fool would do such a thing, knowing the consequences he would face from the blood thirsty crowds... Yes, I am a criminal, and I admit this to all, but this crowd, they too are criminals and murderers, enjoying the pain of others as if it were a game... And so, I continued to walk...

(Jesus and the Cross)
As I approached the top of the Hill of Skulls, Golgotha, I could hear the yells and screams of the crowd growing ever louder as I stumbled about. Still, I hold the cloth over my head as I begin asking questions to anyone who's gaze turns away from the three men on the cross long enough for me to speak... Answers, it seems, are hard to come by, and the fear creeping up my spine, that somehow there's been a terrible mistake, keeps me ducking down beneath the bushes, though scarce, it provides to me some reassurance that the guards, the Pharisees, and the High Priest will not notice me and request another cross be brought up for me to bare... And then, as if in a moment preordained before time itself, I look over and see a woman, who's tears stream down as only a mother's can, and she is looking up, towards the man in the middle... With her, are many other woman, and they're better consoled by a man who's face seems familiar... And as I stop yet another man in the rustling crowd to ask who they were, before I could even speak, he declared, look there, the Nazarene's mother cries for Him, she cries for Jesus the Messiah, King of the Jews... Laughing harshly as he spoke, and as I looked up at Him, I could feel Him, peering into my soul as I fell to my knees and wept, for I had heard of this man of many miracles, I had heard the stories of how He had risen many from the dead, how He had healed the sick, and opened the blinded eyes, and now here He is, nailed to a wooden cross that was meant for me...

Puzzled, confused, and distraught, I remained there, in the crowd of onlookers, staring in amazement as He, this man called the Messiah, hung there on that cross, His body tattered, beaten, and bruised: the blood soaked cross; His only garment. As I continue to look around, I gaze upon a woman called Mary, being held up by another man, much younger; however, I could tell that he must have loved her, for he held her so tightly. Curiously, I asked someone in the bustling crowd, “who is that woman?”, “that is the sinners mother!” the vile man exclaimed, and as I turned back around, I could see Mary, his mother, as she knelt at the foot of the cross along with many others I could only assume where His followers, and although He clearly had many, there were quite easily outnumbered by the blood thirsty onlookers in the crowd…

What am I to do now? certainly there is something more here, I thought to myself, and it was then, in that moment that I recalled the split second in which I stared deeply into His eyes when Pilate and his cronies released me. You see, as I stated before, in those eyes, I could see forever, past, present, and future. Knowing then that there was truly something extraordinary about this man, I felt the need to stay for a while, and so I wrapped my loosely fitting garment around my head and I crept up toward the front, near His followers, barely a couple feet away from His mother, and the lady Magdalene.

As the hours passed, I watched his mother cry out in agony, I witnessed His followers, His brothers, and so many others crying, praying, and just lingering about, that is until things began to change at an accelerating rate. Jesus, the carpenter, the man up on that cross, was pierced in the side, and from His side flowed natural blood, and what appeared to be water, what sort of manner is this? How could this be that a man could be pierced, and bleed both water and blood? In that moment, it came to me, this was no man at all, He was the Messiah, and He has taken my punishment for me, and as I began to weep aloud, I remembered all the scriptures that I learned as a little boy…

Isaiah 53:3-5
(Christ on the Cross)
…He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed…

And it was then, in that moment, that I knew that, that this man, this man Jesus, He was the Messiah, and He willingly traded His life for mine, and for my sin, He died. Jesus the Nazarene is the Messiah, and it is only through Him that we can see God, and from that moment on, I followed Him, I saw him return from the grave, I walked with the Disciples to Jerusalem, and I was in the upper room when the Holy Ghost fell on the Day of Pentecost, and I followed His teachings, I followed His ways, and I followed Him, Jesus Christ the Messiah until the end of my days…


Now, this is just a fictional interpretation of what may have happened, anything is possible, or perhaps it did happen in this way, we will not know until that day we meet Him, Christ Jesus for ourselves; but what I do know is this, anyone of us could be  Barabbas. Jesus Christ willingly took the place of Barabbas on the cross two-thousand years ago: today, Jesus has taken our place as well, for it was by His sacrifice that we all have a chance to not only live, but to live a life more abundantly, for it is by His stripes that we are healed. The precious blood of Jesus has  Redeemed us. You see, there is no Salvation in any other name, it is by Jesus Christ that we are Justified, and it is purely by His Grace and Mercy that we, those who Believe, have received the gift of everlasting life…

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

UNITY

I am Christian, I am Pentecostal, I am Apostolic... I am One with Christ, I reside in Him, and He in turn resides in me... At this current time, there are some four hundred different denominations throughout the Christian world; far too many if you ask me... How are we to win this world for God if we cannot even get out of our own way, know what I mean?? And so, my goal is, and always has been, to focus on what makes us who we are in our mission to be "Christ-Like" what is it that brings us together under the umbrella of Christianity, and that is Jesus Christ... You see, we all have something that we can learn from one another, and it's my belief that there has got to be a dialogue that allows us to break the ice, tare down the walls of division, and bring us all back together under the Blood, Cross, and Name of Jesus, it is then, and only then that we can truly win this world for God, and we can go home...

Psalm 133:1-2
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments...

I Corinthians 1:10
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment...

I Peter 3:8-9
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing...

I can go on and on and on... However, there is really no need as we all know it is God's desire that we all Love God with every fabric of our being, and in all we do, next we are to love our neighbor as ourselves... and who is our neighbor? You are, and I am... 

So, we know that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, this is the very foundation of the Christian Faith... He was born of a virgin, Mary, and He walked, talked, and taught the multitudes before giving up His life as our ransom at the age of 33. After dying on the cross, Jesus would rise again on Resurrection Sunday, aka. Easter, before once again appearing before many witnesses, including but not limited to His disciples. After 40 days, Jesus ascended into Heaven to await the moment that He shall return again in victory, but before He left, Jesus instructed His followers to wait for a sign in Jerusalem, instructing the disciples that they would receive the Power of the Holy Ghost, which they did ten days later while having a prayer meeting in the upper room...

When Peter was asked about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and the fact that each man heard in his own language what was happening, Peter exclaimed that this was the prophecy of Joel, being fulfilled. When those who witnessed these events asked Peter what they must do to be saved, Peter states with excitement that each man must repent of his own sins, each man must be baptized, and each man would then receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and it was then that the world was turned upside down with the wonderful truth, of the Gospel...  

Now, let us take a look at the scriptures regarding this exciting event, which is basically the founding of the church, in the book of Acts:
(Acts 2:1-4)
...And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language...

Yes, as we can see, everyone involved, everyone who was present, and everyone who received the gift of the Holy Spirit that 50th day after the Resurrection, was there in the upper room, praying on One Accord, that is in unison... You see, at that time, there was no division, no separation, the entire group was there, praying together for ten straight days... Mary, the earthly mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, the Disciples, and many others, totaling 120 souls were there, praying together in one accord, and in that moment, The Lord our God fulfilled the Promise, the Comforter, that is the Holy Spirit, was poured out upon all mankind. Unity, this is what we need in the Body of Christ today, titles, denominations, specific dogmas, and the rules of man should all be torn away; thereby, leaving the pure, unadulterated, Word of God as the rules by which we live. Unity, although it may seem to be impossible, is what we need within the Body of Christ; however, we must be able to accept our brothers and sisters without judging them for who the were, or where they are, unity without conformity. 

(Leviticus 20:26)(I Peter 1:16)
...And ye shall be Holy unto me: for I The Lord am Holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine...

Now, before we conclude, it must be noted that the Lord has called us unto Holiness, for He Himself is Holy; therefore, we must understand that yes, He accepts us the way that we are, but in no way does He expect us to stay that way... We, the children of the Most High God, should strive daily to shake off the things of this world, dying daily to sin and filth, only to become born again in Christ Jesus everyday. Daily, let our prayers be filled with love and praise for one another, let our prayers speak of unity within the Body of Christ, and finally, let our prayers speak of the desire to restore unity within the Body and revival in the streets... Unity, Holiness, and Prayer, these are the keys to Revival, and the ushering in of the return of our Lord and King, Jesus Christ...

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Bibles For Pakistan...

The people of Pakistan are hurting, and it is only the Word of God that can heal them... Please join me in Praying for the church there in Pakistan, and if you would like to help to purchase Bibles in the native tongue, please feel free to contact me at:
Fred Blackman
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More info to come...

Here are just a few pictures of the church members and children... 
 The Church began with only fifteen members in the fall of 2015 and has now grown to over 160 souls...
 Pastor Sajin Sajid, pictured in white, has worked diligently with the people in the area, teaching them to walk in the path of our Beloved Jesus Christ; however, he cannot do it alone, he needs our support...
 Holy Bibles, and other materials, are desperately needed in order to teach the people of Pakistan, that there is a better way, the straight and narrow path which leads to Life more Abundant; yet more importantly, it is the path to Salvation...
 I work very closely with Pastor Sajin on a weekly basis via social media, emails, telephone calls and Skype, and I can vouch that he is doing the work of the Kingdom, and with that stated, I am asking for your help and support. Whether it be in prayer, fasting, or financially, every bit of help is a Blessing... God Bless... Amen...
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Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Storms

The Storms of life often frighten us; causing us to seek shelter, hunker down, shut all the windows, and lock the doors... 

In some of life's situations, this is truly the right thing to do, not only to protect ourselves from harm, but all of those around us. Yet, in doing so, we must be careful not to misunderstand a move of God with a simple storm or a devious assault from the enemy. While locking everything down in the event of a true attack or storm, is indeed the right thing to do, we must be careful not to block the moves of the Holy Ghost instead...


In Psalms chapter 18, King David found Himself being sought by the enemy, and in his distress, King David called upon the Lord our God for help. As we continue to read through King David's Psalm, we find that in response, the Lord our God appeared as a mighty storm, His voice thundered and sent down hail stones, coals, and fire, scattering the enemy with shots of lightning and arrows and fiery coals, and it was in the storm that the Lord our God rescued King David from the attacks of the enemy, but why, why did the Lord rescue David? The answer to this question is quite simple, David had Faith…


   Psalms 18:3 I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies...

You see, although David was indeed afraid for his life during this stormy period, he was still very aware of where his help came from, and that was from his Heavenly Father, the Great God Almighty, and when he prayed, he cried out to God knowing and believing that God would answer swiftly and in a mighty way...

In the book of Mark, as well as the other Gospels, we find that before Jesus Christ was placed on the cross atop Calvary Hill, He was abused and defiled, beaten and spat upon, ridiculed and covered with a crown of thorns... Our Lord was forced to bear the weight of His own Cross, a cross made out of a tree that He Himself had spoken into existence and finally as if the pain and agony Jesus Christ endured was not enough to appease the crowd, He was placed up high, above the crowds, displayed wide open for all to see, and when He spoke His final Words and gave up the Ghost, there was a mighty earthquake that violently shook the land, a blanket of darkness then covered the skies, as the Temple Vail was torn asunder, and we know the rest of the story, Jesus rises again. Now, as we can see here, God moved once again in the form of thundering darkness, as a storm and a mighty earthquake in order to let it be none that He was still in control...

As we continue on our journey through the storms, we find that we have arrived at the book commonly known as the book of Acts, or the Actions of the Apostles. Here we find that once again there was an incredible move of God which was manifested in the form of a storm only two chapters into the book, only this storm was different, it was the fulfillment of a promise God had given mankind many years before, as far back as Joel chapter two and First Samuel chapter ten...

Acts 2:1-4
And when the Day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from the heavens as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance...

This was the culmination of everything we could ever hope for, the gap between man and God had been bridged by the Blood and Sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that storm that was unleashed in the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit, is the conduit by which we have communion with God, it is literally the very Spirit of God living within us...

So, there we have it, the storms of this life may not always feel comfortable, the thunder and lightning may sometimes make us feel uneasy and afraid. While we often have the perception that the rushing mighty winds are blowing us off course, it is often in these same storms that we receive the Blessings, Protection, and Power we need to live out our daily lives. You see, the storms of this life can sometimes be little more than a brief lesson, they may be chance occurrences, or they may become the opportunity of a lifetime, so when you are facing a storm in your own life, do not run from it, but face it head on while asking the Lord, "what is it that I need to learn from the particular storm that I am faced with today," and as I can personally express to you today, while coming out of the greatest storm I have had to face to date, there were many Blessings, Lessons, and Opportunities for Promotion that I can directly link to this most recent storm...

The moral of the story? Just look life in the face and give it everything you've got, and you shall be rewarded if you do it right... God Bless, and please, do not run from the storms in your life, but embrace them, learn from them, and allow the Holy Spirit to move in your life, you just may receive something much more special than you would have ever expected... God's Grace, Mercy, Faithfulness, and Salvation...

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Recollections of the Resurrection 2015

This year, just as every year since coming to the Lord, the Easter season has had a huge impact on me, emotionally, spiritually, and even physically. As I read the Word of God and visualize the events leading up to this special time of year, I cannot help but to become so enamored by these events that I often cry out in pain while sobbing at the thought that my actions, and the way I had chosen to live my life in the past truly contributed to the events of that day. From the triumphant entry, leading into Jerusalem, to the evening of agonizing prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, I was there. Standing the crowd cheering Him on as Christ road into tow on a colt, and sleeping when the Lord needed someone to watch and pray for just one hour, I was there. When my Lord was betrayed by a coin and a kiss, I was there, and when my Lord received the mere shadow of a trial I was there, Crucify Him! I yelled, I beat Him, and spit on Him, and followed Him up the hill as He stumbled and fell to His knees… We were there…

And now, I will attempt to share with you some of my thoughts and feelings as I Reflect on the Resurrection season of The Year of our Lord Two Thousand and Fifteen…

Shortly after the Lord enjoyed a meal with His Apostles and Disciples, He would walk to the beautiful Garden of Gethsemane and Pray...
It was there in that Garden where Jesus took on the sins of All men, it was there in the Garden where our Lord spoke these words, "not my will, but thy will," and it was in that Garden that our chance for life was guaranteed when Jesus drank of that cup tasting and ingesting the evil sins of all mankind...
In the Garden of Eden, mankind was lost when we chose to eat of the forbidden fruit, rejecting God, and accepting satan… And it was in another Garden, the Garden of Gethsemane, that mankind would be restored... Thank the Lord our God for the Garden... God Bless...

The Cat of Nine Tails, the Crown of Thorns, The fist and the feet of the Roman Guards… The flesh of Christ Jesus, ripped and torn… His hair literally torn and ripped from His face... They spat upon Him... The nailed His Hands to a wooden cross… They pierced Him in His side as His mother, Mary, was forced to look on, in agony, feeling the pain of watching her son, her Lord, and the Savior of the universe being beaten and abused; and now, hanging on the tree He created...
Just the thought, wrenches my heart, and brings tears to my eyes... Thank you Jesus...

It's Saturday now, the Disciples have scattered... Fear has encompassed all those who believed on Christ Jesus, the Messiah... And Mary, precious Mary... She burns with that pain that only another mother can understand, the loss of a child, her firstborn son... But so much more than that, she must face the loss of her Lord and Savior... Jesus Christ…
Stillness and silence fills the air as all of eternity mourns, all of creation waits in wonder, and those that “know not what they do” are spared the vengeance of the Heavenly Father because of the Love of a Forgiving and Grace filled Lord...
Oh... But if only they knew... If we only they had known that in just one more day... Everything would change... Even time it’self...
Rest your weary tear filled eyes now, because Joy is coming in the morning... God Bless... Amen...

Finally, Sunday morning has arrived, and so had Mary and the others... They arrived early in the morning in order to properly prepare our Lord for burial... However; once they arrived at the tomb, they found that it was already open... And Jesus Christ was no where to be found...

Oh No! Pain and Fear engulfed them, where is He, where is our Lord? But that pain and fear would turn to Amazement as the Angel of the Lord declared unto them…
He is not here, come and see the place where The Lord laid...
Now Go! Tell the others Jesus Christ is Alive... He's Alive Now and Forever More!
Yes, Victory is ours... Death is no more... To those who Believe… Jesus is Alive...

So, we head off to the following Monday, and Jesus has made it known that He is alive. Because of this, we are all made free from the wages of sin... We are made Free from the chains that bind and the eternalness of death, that is those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God…
Jesus Christ, both man and God, came into this earth from Heaven to complete a mission, to complete the scriptures, and to take from satan, the keys of hell...
Jesus Christ came into this world to seek out the lost, not to condemn them, but to save them from themselves and the wages of sin... He came into this world to show us the true meaning of love, and to remove from us any fear, any doubt, and any infirmity...
Jesus Christ gave His life freely, and after three days, He did rise again, and because of this, we all woke up this morning... Because of this, we are healed, because of this, new baby boys and new baby girls have been added to the family... And because of this... The Kingdom of God is completely assessable from here on earth through our prayers and the presence of the Holy Ghost...
And because of this, we can now have a one on one relationship with Jesus Christ Himself... Thank you for the cross... God Bless...

And now, it's Tuesday, most of us have returned to work and school by now, and the memories and the events of this past week are beginning to fade... However, we can never forget, we must always remember what it was that Jesus Christ did for us this week of Passion... The importance of the horrific events of leading up to Easter weekend go far beyond the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord, they point to a promise... The Promise that we shall no longer be alone, the promise that we shall receive unto us the comforter, and that comforter is the Holy Spirit...
John 16:5-8 
But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment...

Yes... The Promise that was spoken by the prophet Joel, and the promise that was spoken of by Christ Jesus Himself, and that promise that was given unto us in the book of Acts chapters one and  two... Yes... Because He is Risen... The Holy Ghost has fallen... We shall never be alone again... For our Lord is with us and within is... Even until the end of the world... God Bless... Amen...

Finally, If you're anything like me, you have spent much of Easter week, literally in tears... Although the week had begun with the lore and excitement of Palm Sunday, as the week progressed, we began to feel the thickness in the air as the day of our savior's death had drawn evermore near... Culminating with the Passion beginning Thursday evening, according to the Roman calendar, with Passover dinner in the upper room...
As the evening progressed, our Lord would have it made known that it wouldn't be long before He Himself would be betrayed, and because of this, Jesus prepared Himself by praying in the Garden of Gethsemane... "It's not My will but Thy will," He uttered... As He was exchanged for a few coins and a kiss... We mourned the outcome of the disgusting excuse for a trial as the people jeered...
Crucify Him, Crucify Him, Crucify Him...
John 16:20
 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy...
Though the entirety of creation mourned His death, and as the world went on about their business of exchanging money and living the narcissistic lives they were accustomed to... Those who truly Loved Him, and those who Believed, were filled with Agonizing pain, Lamentations and sorrow.... That is until that Bright and Glorious moment when the word came, He's alive, Jesus has risen... Go forth unto Galilee, and there you shall see Him... It is then that our pain became extinguished and our mourning turned to Joy...
Yes... We are full of Joy forever more...
No more shall we sorrow for the Lord our God is alive forever more... And now we shall be Baptized with the Holy Ghost and Fire... Power from on High... Elation and Joy everlasting... Our season of mourning has passed... God Bless... Amen...

The Power of God lies not in His death on the Cross, or His burial in the rich man's tomb, but in the fact that He has overcome the grave... His Power arises from the fact that He descended into the deep and dark places of the earth, and then ascended once again... The Power of our Lord is shown strong when He ripped the keys from the hands of the enemy and overcame both death and the grave... This my friend is from which the Power arises... This my friend is where our Faith, Strength, and Belief resides... For our Lord defeated death on the cross... Our Lord overcame burial in the darkness of a lonely and secluded tomb... And our Lord now has the keys to hell, He controls all, and is in all, above all, and the Creator of all...
Psalm 9:7-10
But the Lord shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment. And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness. The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord , hast not forsaken them that seek thee...
As the days pass, and Resurrection Sunday becomes just another wonderful and fun filled day that has now passed, let us not forget everything that this day has stood for... And that is that Jesus Christ is alive... He is the Living God, there's no one like Him in all of Heaven and all of earth... His Righteousness is simply unquestionable... His innocence, undeniable... And even till this day, two thousand years later, our Lord endures...

He is still a Strong Tower, our Refuge, and our Hope... He is still the Defender of the weak... And Strength for the oppressed... He has proved Himself Trustworthy and Faithful, time and time again... He is... I Am... Jesus Christ The Lord... God Bless... Amen



Friday, March 6, 2015

The Chair, The Cross, and This Thing called Faith

On March 26, 2010, the Chicago Tribune reported that Chicago Cubs first baseman Derek Lee had been injured during a pregame meal when the chair he was sitting in gave way, causing him to fall to the floor. "He was eating before the game and the chair just collapsed on him," manager Lou Piniella said, Derek Lee would only miss a couple games; however, I can assure you that Mr. Lee will be much more careful when choosing which chair he will be sitting on in the future, why? because his faith in that chair has ben crippled. Because of this encounter with this particular chair, Derek Lee’s faith has forever been altered, so let’s talk about faith and the chair.

Faith, what is it? Well according to the Bible, it's the substance of things hoped for with the evidence of things unseen. (Hebrews 11:1) So, what does this mean, and why is it so important? Well, to answer the first part of the question, we must simply examine the average wooden chair. The everyday wooden chair that one would find at their grandmother’s house or at the local resteraunt, has four wooden legs, a seat and a back. Generally speaking, you and I both will walk right into a room and plop ourselves right down onto that chair without giving it a second thought, and why is this? It is because we have trained ourselves to belive that the chair will hold us up without falling no matter how much we weigh or how many times someone has set down in that particular chair. Although there is nothing that can physicaly confirm our belief that the chair will hold up our weight, we simply belive, and that my friend is Faith, the belief that something you do not know or something that you cannot prove is indeed the truth. Because over a period of time, we have witnessed the fact that the chair in question, or one of similar design, has held our weight before, time and time again in fact, we choose to believe; thereby, exhibiting faith. Now, let’s talk about this thing called faith.

The Bible tells us in the third chapter of St. John that God our Heavenly Father had sent Jesus Christ to this earth two thousand years ago, not to condemn us, but to save us from the sin filled world in which we live. This sin filled world has an uncanny attraction that can’t be understood nor can it seemingly be resisted; although we know the wages of sin is death, and we know that by all acounts that the sin of this world will destroy us, we just cannot seem to let it go. The prince of this world is indeed strong, and his plan to destroy mankind appears to be operating as a well oiled machine; however, God has another plan for you and I, a plan to restore us, redeem us, reinvigorate us, and give to us the great gift of salvation. Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, came into this world, that according to the book of John chapter one was not created without Him, to give to us the freely given gifts of liberty, freedom, salvation, and everlasting life, but how? how do we attain these freely given gifts? Well, it is actually fairly easy, we simply believe. (John 3:15-17) Although this may sound complicated, it is really a very simple thing to understand, if we have Faith, and if we Believe that Jesus Christ is the only Begotten Son of God the Father, we shall receive these freely given gifts; most noticeably, the gift known as Everlasting Life. These gifts are freely given, and not anything we can earn by our own hand, as they are purely provided to us through God’s Grace, Mercy and Love, it is up to us to do what it takes to attain these gifts, and that starts by believing Jesus is the Son of God.

So, what comes next? Well, believing is absolutely the first step, the Bible tells us that without Faith, it is impossible to please God, (Heb.11:6) so believing and having faith are definitely the first steps; yet, there is so much more to a life lived with God and for God. In the book of Acts chapter nineteen, Paul asked a young group of followers, new to the faith, if they had yet received the gift of the Holy Ghost since they believed to which they replied, "we have not so much heard wether there be any Holy Ghost." After hearing this response, Paul stated to them that which Peter explained so powerfully in Acts chapter two, verses fourteen through forty, although there is not enough room to qoute the entire set of verses here, I will share with you a few of the more famous verses among this group, culminating in one of the most well known,and often repeated,  verses, Acts 2:38...

Acts 19:3,4
And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus...

Acts 2:37,38
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost...

So, what does this all mean? Now that is a great question, and here is the very simple answer, once we believe, once we have stated before God and man that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, we are ready to take the next step, repenteance. Repenteance, or to repent, means that we literally turn away from our past, our sin, and our mistakes, we then turn toward God and ask Him to be our guide; we declare that we will follow Him, forsaking all other gods and ungodly desires. According to Dictionary.com, the word repent means “to feel such sorrow for sin or fault as to be disposed to change one’s life for the better.” So after we repent and urn away from our old ways, we begin moving towards the next step which is Baptism. Baptism is the full immersing of oneself into a pool or body of water with the understanding that the power isn't actually in the water, but in what the water represents, the act of publicly declaring to both God and man and announcing that Jesus Christ is Lord; yet more importantly, it represents the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In essence, we have been buried in death and raised again to life with Christ; therefore, it is no longer we who live, but Christ Jesus who lives within us. (Galatians 2:20) Now, after baptism, we finally, arrive at the third and most important step, and that is the receiving of the Power and Presence of God through the Holy Ghost living within us and through us, guiding us as we liveout our daily lives. Now, as we move on from here, I feel that it is important to state to you that all of these things may not happen in the exact order as listed here; however, if we are to live a successful life for God and with God, we must follow all of these steps as they have been layed out by Christ as foundations and pinnacles of our faith and beliefs.

Acts chapter one, verse eigh gives us a promise directly from Christ Jesus Himself, a promise that once the Holy Ghost is upon us, we shall receive Power, and the fruition of this promise was realised by the Apostles, Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, the brothers of Jesus, and several others numbering120 individual men and women in the upper room fifty days after the resurection in the city of Jerusalem on what we know as the Day of Pentecost.

Acts 2:2-4
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

When the presence of the Holy Ghost comes upon us, there is always some type of physical response, whether it is a shout, a leap, a jump, speaking in tongues, or just standing to your feet, there is always a physical and notable response when we allow the Holy Spirit to take charge of our lives. For some, it is this notable and physical response that then forces the  individual to repent and turn and turn away from their sinful and wreckless fleshly desires, while for others, it is the act of baptism, immersion and emersion, that causes the overwhelming presence of God to infill then; thus, causing the Holy Spirit to become active in his or her life. At other times, there may be a powerful sermon brought forth by the preacher or the suttle message of a sunday morning hymn or worship song by the choir that brings forth the Power and Might of the Holy Ghost, regardless od just how or why the presence of the Lord arrived, or what caused the fire to explode within them, there is always an undeniable change once the Holy Spirit is manifest on the lives of the believer.

That very same Power  that was unleashed on the Day of Pentecst, that very same Power that was spoken of by the Prophet Joel, and that same Power mentioned by Jesus in Acts chapter one is available to you and I today, if only we would find it within ourselves to Believe. (I Corinthians 12) If one would take the time to read the book of Acts, we would find that through the Power of the Holy Ghost, chains were literally broken asunder, the sick were healed of a multitude of ailments, the dead were raised, the deaf where made to hear once again, prison doors were torn apart opened wide, those that had been lost in sin were found, lives were changed forever, and so much more, all through the Power and the Presence of the Holy Ghost and the strength of  Faith... 

Just like the old four legged chair, and the Old Rugged Cross, all we must do is have Faith and Believe... God Bless... Amen...  


Proverbs 1:23 Turn you at My reproof: behold, I will pour out My Spirit unto you, I will make know My Words unto you..